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10 Epic Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

things to do in Christchurch New Zealand

Today, we will start a journey on the best things to do in Christchurch, the biggest city located on the South Island of New Zealand.

We will navigate you through what you can do during your time in this vibrant city and around the Canterbury plains.

You will discover activities and attractions of all kinds, from free ones to others you can do with friends or family.

Although some of them have a cost, they are mainly affordable for all kinds of budgets.

Why Christchurch Is a Great Travel Destination

Christchurch is a beautiful place to visit as one of the top cities on the South Island, offering a mix of nature, history, and friendly people.

Its beautiful landscapes, like hills and beaches, are perfect for outdoor adventures like hiking or swimming.

It also has fascinating museums and landmarks, like the Canterbury Museum and the Christchurch Cathedral, where you can learn about its past.

There’s a lot to enjoy when it comes to food, from fresh produce at markets to tasty meals at local restaurants.

But what makes Christchurch special is its people. They’re known for being welcoming and kind, making visitors feel right at home.

From the Southern Alps to the Banks Peninsula, whether you’re exploring alone or with friends, you’ll find a sense of belonging in this destination.

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable trip exploring New Zealand!

Best Day Trips From Christchurch

Below are some of the best day trips and other great activities you can do around Christchurch:

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What to Do in Christchurch?

There’s plenty of fun stuff to do in Christchurch, New Zealand! You can explore beautiful parks and gardens, learn about its history, check out New Regent Street, or relax and take it easy.

Whether you like outdoor adventures, checking out incredible museums, or just chilling out, Christchurch has something for everyone.

In this guide, we’ll show you some of the best things to do in Christchurch so you can have an awesome time during your visit to this amazing city.

Let’s start by diving into these 10 unique and epic things to do.

1. Explore the Christchurch Botanic Gardens

These Gardens in Christchurch are like a big, beautiful park!

You can walk around and see all sorts of plants and flowers from different places. It’s a great place to take a relaxed walk, have a picnic, or just enjoy being outside.

With paths to walk on and ponds to see, it’s a calm place to go.

Whether you like nature, taking pictures, or just want a peaceful break, these gardens are perfect for everyone. So put on your comfy shoes and get ready to explore this nice place in Christchurch!

As an interesting fact, Christchurch is also called the ”garden city”.

Botanical Gardens

Key Benefits of Exploring the Botanic Gardens:

  • Relaxation: These gardens are peaceful places to chill out and enjoy nature.
  • Learning: You can learn about many plants and flowers from around the world, which is cool and interesting.
  • Fun: The gardens are great for going on walks, picnics, and doing fun outside.
  • Easy to Visit: The gardens are usually easy to get to, so you can visit them easily whenever you want.


  • Free entry
  • Learning activities
  • Helping nature
  • Community fun


  • Limited hours
  • Weather dependant
  • Crowdy at tunes
  • Seasonal changes

2. Discover the Antarctic Centre

The Antarctic Centre in Christchurch is like stepping into a frozen wonderland! You can experience what it’s like to be in Antarctica without even leaving New Zealand.

From interactive exhibits and simulations to meeting natural Antarctic explorers, there’s so much to see and do. You can ride in a Hagglund vehicle, see penguins up close, and even brave the Antarctic storm room.

It’s an exciting and educational adventure for visitors of all ages. So bundle up and get ready to explore the wonders of the Antarctic at the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch!

Antarctic center

Key Benefits of Discovering the Antarctic Centre:

  • Educational Experience: Visitors can learn about Antarctica’s unique environment, wildlife, and scientific research through interactive exhibits and displays.
  • Hands-On Activities: The Antarctic Centre offers immersive experiences such as riding in a Hagglund vehicle and braving an Antarctic storm room, providing a fun and memorable adventure.
  • Meeting Real Explorers: Guests can meet and interact with natural Antarctic explorers, gaining insights into their experiences and adventures.
  • Close Encounter with Penguins: Visitors can observe and learn about penguins up close, fostering a greater appreciation for these fascinating creatures and their habitat.


  • Interactive Learning
  • Memorable Experience
  • Family-Friendly
  • Indoor and not dependent on the weather


  • Entrance Fee
  • Crowdy during peak season
  • Time-consuming

3. Admire the Street Art

Looking at Christchurch’s street art is like going on a colorful adventure! You’ll see lots of cool paintings on buildings and in hidden spots around.

Just walk around and you’ll find amazing artwork everywhere you look. It’s like a big outdoor arts centre!

Whether you love art, taking photos, or just want to see something cool, Christchurch’s street art is sure to impress.

So grab your camera and explore the city to see all the awesome paintings!

Street art

Key Benefits of Admiring the Street Art:

  • Cultural Expression: Street art reflects a community’s creativity and cultural diversity, offering insight into local identities and perspectives.
  • Beautification: Street art can transform mundane urban spaces into vibrant, visually appealing areas.
  • Accessibility: Street art is accessible to everyone, regardless of background or artistic knowledge, making it an inclusive form of public art.
  • Self-Expression: Street artists often use their work to convey messages, tell stories, or express emotions, fostering connections and sparking conversations among viewers.


  • Free
  • Cultural enriching
  • Picturesque


  • Vandalism occurs
  • Quality varies
  • Might not be appreciated by all

4. Ride the Christchurch Gondola

Going on the Christchurch Gondola is like taking a magical ride through the sky with amazing views!

You get to ride in a particular cable car that takes you up to the top of the Port Hills.

Along the way, you’ll see incredible views of Christchurch, the flat land, and the big, snowy mountains in the distance. It’s exciting and perfect for families, couples, or anyone who loves adventure.

Definitely, one of the most interesting Christchurch attractions that you must visit.

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Key Benefits of Riding the Christchurch Gondola:

  • Unique Views: The gondola gives you incredible views of Christchurch, the flat land, and the snowy mountains far away.
  • Easy to Use: Riding the gondola is simple and easy for everyone so anyone can enjoy the ride.
  • Fun for Everyone: It’s a fun activity that families, couples, and anyone who loves adventures can enjoy together.
  • Exciting Ride: Going up in the gondola is exciting and makes you feel like you’re flying through the sky.


  • Great views
  • Accessible
  • Lots of Fun
  • Works in Any Weather


  • Costs money
  • Crowded sometimes
  • Not much time at the top

5. Visit the Canterbury Museum

Going to the Canterbury Museum is like taking a trip through time to learn about cool stuff from New Zealand’s past!

It’s right in the middle of Christchurch and has lots of exciting things to see.

You can check out Maori treasures, old fossils, and stuff from when New Zealand was first settled.

things to do in christchurch

Key Benefits of Visiting the Canterbury Museum:

  • Learning: The Canterbury Museum helps you learn about New Zealand’s past, like its history, culture, and cool stuff from nature.
  • Exploring Cultures: You can see an impressive collection of Maori things, old stuff from a long time ago, and other neat things that show how New Zealand has changed.
  • Fun Stuff to Do: The Museum has hands-on activities and things you can touch, making it fun for everyone, no matter how old you are.
  • Free Entry: Going into the Canterbury Museum doesn’t cost anything so anyone can visit and enjoy it.


  • Fascinating history
  • Fun for families
  • Cultural learning
  • Easy to get to


  • Sometimes crowded
  • Time-consuming
  • Sometimes, parts of the Museum are closed

6. Take a Punting Tour on the Avon River

Going on a punting tour means riding a special boat on the Avon River in Christchurch!

You sit on a flat-bottomed boat while someone guides it along the calm water. It’s a peaceful ride with pretty trees and cute bridges to see.

You can relax and enjoy the slow trip as you pass by old buildings and lots of green plants.

things to do in Christchurch

Key Benefits of Taking a Punting Tour on the Avon River:

  • Relaxing Time: Going on a punting tour means having a calm and peaceful time and enjoying the pretty views of the river.
  • Nice Views: Passengers can enjoy beautiful sights along the Avon River, such as cute bridges and green trees.
  • Learning Stuff: The tour guides tell interesting stories about the history of Christchurch and its green spaces, so you can learn new things while you ride.
  • Romantic Feel: Punting tours are perfect for couples wanting a romantic outing together.


  • Chill experience
  • Pretty scenery
  • Interesting stories
  • Fun for everyone


  • Weather matters
  • Punting tours are only sometimes available
  • Pricey

7. Explore the Christchurch Art Gallery: Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Going to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is like entering a big world of art!

It’s right in Christchurch and has lots of cool artwork from New Zealand and other places.

You can see all kinds of art, like paintings, sculptures, and modern stuff.

The gallery shows off Christchurch’s culture and art scene, letting you see lots of interesting pieces and different ways of thinking.

Art Gallery Christchurch

Key Benefits of Exploring the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū:

  • Seeing Cool Art: Visiting the gallery lets you see many interesting artworks from different places.
  • Feeling Inspired: The artworks can inspire you to think creatively and try new things.
  • Learning Stuff: You can learn about art and different cultures by looking at and reading about the artworks.
  • Meeting People: The gallery hosts events and workshops to meet other people who love art.
  • Having Fun: Exploring the gallery is a fun way to spend time, whether you’re with friends, or by yourself.


  • Lots of different art
  • Cultural learning
  • Fun event
  • Free


  • Crowded
  • Depends on people’s taste
  • Time-consuming

8. Cycle the Christchurch Coastal Pathway

Biking along the Christchurch Coastal Pathway is like a ride through paradise, with awesome sights along the way!

This bike path runs along the coast, giving you a relaxed tour through some of Christchurch’s prettiest spots.

You’ll see sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and cute little towns by the sea. The best parts, or “highlights,” are the amazing views of the ocean and the fresh breeze blowing through your hair.

Cycle track

Key Benefits of Cycling the Christchurch Coastal Pathway:

  • Beautiful Views: Riding along the pathway gives fabulous ocean views, beaches, and pretty coastal areas, making it a scenic adventure.
  • Fun Exercise: Cycling is a fun way to get moving and enjoy the outdoors, keeping you healthy and happy.
  • Easy to Ride: The pathway is suitable for all cyclists, with smooth trails that are easy to pedal.
  • Exploring Cool Places: Along the way, you can check out neat spots like seaside villages and historic sites, adding excitement to your ride.


  • Amazing scenery
  • Healthy fun
  • Easy riding
  • Exciting discoveries


  • Weather dependant
  • Maintenance needs
  • Safety issues
  • Limited amenities

9. Indulge in Christchurch’s Food Scene

Tasting Christchurch’s food is like going on a complete eating adventure!

In this lively city, you can find all sorts of yummy places to either have lunch or dinner, from cozy cafes to busy food markets.

Whether you’re in the mood for local Kiwi dishes, international flavors, or creative combos, Christchurch has it all.

You can munch on fresh seafood, try tasty cheeses and chocolates, or dine a full meal made with fresh ingredients from nearby farms.

Key Benefits of Exploring Christchurch’s Food Scene:

  • Lots of Food: The city centre has a wide variety of places to eat, so you can always find something tasty.
  • Local Tastes: Try real Kiwi food made with fresh ingredients from nearby, giving you a true taste of New Zealand.
  • Different Places: There are fancy restaurants, and even cool bars to hang out and grab a bite.
  • Fresh Markets: You can visit food markets to find fresh veggies, homemade treats, and unique flavors while supporting local farmers.


  • Lots of food choices
  • try local flavors
  • Variety of eating spots
  • Fresh markets


  • Can be expensive
  • Crowded places
  • Environmental impacts
  • Quality varies

10. Ride the Christchurch Tram

Jumping on the Tram is like taking a fun adventure through time and seeing the best parts of the city!

This old-style tram takes you on a slow ride through Christchurch’s streets, passing by cool places like parks, old buildings, and busy spots that will take a while to visit by foot.

Sit back in one of the pretty old trams, and listen to the guide tell you interesting stories about the city’s past.

You can get on and off at different stops along the way, so you can explore and take your time checking out places like the museum, gardens, and arts center.

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Key Benefits of Riding the Christchurch Tram:

  • Sightseeing Convenience: The tram offers a convenient way to see Christchurch’s major attractions, allowing you to hop on and off at various stops.
  • Historical Experience: Riding the tram provides a nostalgic journey through the city’s past, with informative commentary highlighting its rich history and heritage.
  • Relaxing Atmosphere: Sitting back on the tram and enjoying the leisurely ride is a relaxing way to take in the sights and sounds of the city.
  • Photography Opportunities: The tram provides unique photo opportunities, allowing you to capture memorable moments of your trip through Christchurch.


  • The “boutique galleries” are great
  • You get to see lots of different things
  • Easy to get around
  • Nice views
  • An eclectic mix of sights means learning


  • Not everywhere
  • Can get crowded
  • Costs money
  • Set schedule
  • More for tourists

Best Time to Visit Christchurch

The best time to visit Christchurch is in spring, from September to November, or in autumn, from March to May.

These times have nice weather that’s not too hot or too cold, and there aren’t as many people around compared to summer.

Make sure you book your accommodation in advance, still, there is significant demand during these seasons.

Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Christchurch

Is Christchurch Worth Visiting? Clearly, YES.

To wrap up, Christchurch has tons of fun stuff to do! You can check out the pretty Botanic Gardens or try yummy food in the city.

Don’t forget to hop on the famous Christchurch Tram or take a bike ride along the Coastal Pathway for awesome views. Whether you’re into history, nature, or just having a good time, Christchurch has everything.

So, get ready to explore this cool city, find a comfy place to stay, and have a blast checking out all the great parks and attractions Canterbury has to offer!

If you liked this article, make sure to read about hiking in Tongariro National Park.

Author Bio:

Hey there! My name is Luis Domenech, and I love sharing my adventures across New Zealand in my blogs. I aim to connect with as many fellow travelers as possible, offering them top-notch tips and insights to make their New Zealand journey unforgettable.

The article may include affiliate links, meaning that I may receive affiliate compensation at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. Read more in my Affiliate Disclosure.


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